Election years often bring many issues to light, and this election year is no different. Many focus on individual freedoms and rights protected by the constitution, one of them being the Second Amendment. While Americans in Missouri and elsewhere have the right the bare arms, this comes with some caveats. And when it comes to those with a past criminal records, those with a past conviction of a violent crime will likely have this right limited or constrained for an extended period of time. However, whether an individual has a past conviction of a violent crime or not, serious criminal penalties could result if a gun or weapon is used in the commission of a purported crime.
New gun law in Missouri
As a means to reduce violent crimes in the state, a new law that goes into effect at the end of August will result in mandatory prison sentences and increased penalties for those convicted of murder or any dangerous felony that involves the use of a deadly weapon. Additionally, the new law will remove one’s eligibility to be sentenced to probation if such a conviction results.
For first time offenders convicted of an armed-criminal action, penalties could triple. This means they could face up to 15 years in prison. For a second offense, this could increase the penalty from five year to up to 30 years in prison. Furthermore, these prison terms would be served in addition to any punishment for the actual crime that was committed with the deadly weapon. The goal of this sentence enhancement is to deter such crimes from being committed.
Facing such criminal charges could result in serious penalties, impacting one’s life significantly, as he or she could spend a major portion of their life behind bars. Whether one is aware of these changes to the law or not, it is important that they fully understand that they are afforded the right to a criminal defense. This means considering different defense actions that could help the accused reduce or even dismiss the charges against them. This could help clear ones name and ultimately assist with the reduction or avoidance of harsh penalties associated with a criminal conviction.